Saturday, March 15, 2014

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#1 The Music Sessions - Electric Daisy Violin

Written by Marijke F. Jansen

As promised, today the first episode of The Music Sessions is published! I start the series with the first song on Lindsey Stirling's CD. The song is called Electric Daisy Violin and can be listened to here.

Underneath you'll find the story I've written today. This story was originally written in Dutch, so it is also available in this language. You can read it at or on my official website.

Chapter 1

It's weird to look at your own front door in the knowledge that you will never see it again. To stand there and know that the green-painted wooden door, the blinded round window, and the bell that never worked will never greet you again when you finish your journey. To know that I have just left my own room with the white desk and the rickety chair with the pink cushion for the last time. For the very last time, I clasp my fingers around the handle and pull the front door shut with a firm thud. After some fiddling, I manage to take the key off my heavy key ring, and I stare at the shiny metal object in my fingers. For a moment I hesitate. I doubt whether this is the right decision. Then I lift the lid off the mailbox and throw in the key through the slot. Now there is no turning back.
I lift my heavy backpack off the sidewalk, where grass eagerly peeks out from between the tiles, and hoist it on my shoulders. For a moment, my back complains like a spoiled child who is suddenly put to work, but the feeling disappears as I turn around and take my first steps. With every footstep carrying me further away from the front door, I feel lighter. The sun burns my face and I pull my cap down a little bit more to shield my eyes.
Mrs. Manders from across the street waves at me as I pass by. She is sitting on her knees in the front yard and her black fingers curl into the earth, diligently at work to offer her new collection of flowers a fine home. I see daisies, violets and irises in black cups standing in a circle around her. The scene reminds me of a mother duck with ducklings in a pond. I put my hand up and wave back at her. She gives me a wide smile before turning back to her task.
As my feet start to move once again, a butterfly dazedly flutters in front of my face. It looks like it's drunk, flickering to and fro in a zig-zag motion . I wish I could drift so erratically in all directions too; up, down, diagonally up, down even further, and I would love to feel strong wings on my back as well. It's time I spread my own wings. I suppress the urge to start hopping and walk the last few yards to the bus stop.
Fortunately, the bus stop is deserted, so the bench is empty. My backpack slides off my shoulders and lands with a thud on the ground, flipping over on its back and coming to a stop under the bench. My mouth curls up reluctantly and for the first time in a long while, I can finally really breathe. The street is nice and quiet. I can even hear the birds in the hedge across the street singing. My heart sings along. It's scary to go away. It's exciting to not know where I 'll go. But it feels oh so liberating to finally shake off everything. To let go of everything and start anew. No further obligations. No homework. And no him.
I still don’t know where I’m headed when the bus stops in front of the shelter. I board and present my smart card. The bus is almost empty, but not quite. At the back are three boys of about sixteen years old being obnoxious, and up front is an elderly woman, knitting. I decide to go for the middle and choose a spot just next to the exit, approximately in the middle of the bus. With a hissing noise, the doors close again and the vehicle trundles off with a roaring engine.
I watch buildings flash by. My street. My neighborhood. My hometown. I’ve lived here for years. I have experienced so much in this town. Could this really be the last time that my eyes take in all of this? Could this be the last time that I’m moving through these familiar surroundings?
‘Central Station,’ announces the robotic, pre-recorded bus voice. ‘Central Station, where this bus terminates. All passengers are requested to leave the vehicle and take all their personal belongings with them.'
I haul my bag onto my back and check out. Then I get off and look around hesitantly. What now? Where to?
I grab a coin from my bag and stare at it. ‘Heads is platform one, tails platform two,’ I mutter to myself. My hand drops a bit before it shoots up and lets the coin fly free. The shiny object with the face of King Willem-Alexander flips two, three, four times in the air before it lands on my outstretched palm. Tails.
Now that I have a purpose again, it seems like my backpack is lighter. My feet start to move and take me into the direction of the platform chosen by fate. A long stripe of yellow is already waiting, the doors all opened. Curiously, my eyes flash to the sign telling the destination. Amsterdam Central. Why not?
I almost get on without checking in, but I just realize in time. Quickly, I rush back to those wretched control gates and then hurry to the waiting train. Now that I know my destination, I’m suddenly impatient to leave.
As I enter, a shrill sound pierces the air, bouncing off the platform. Immediately after, the doors close with a hissing noise and not much later, the train starts moving.
Staggering through the moving train, I walk past rows of seats until I find a place in an empty train car. I take off the backpack with a relieved sigh and put it on a chair next to me. I plop down on the seat next to the window. The different shades of green outside blur together from the speed, drawing a kaleidoscopic line of color; moss mixed with lime and emerald blended with mint .
Reality very slowly starts to sink in. I 'm free. I've left. I've done it .
How long will it take before he finds out? How long will it take before he misses me? Before he discovers that I won’t come back?
I regret leaving school, though. I regret leaving my friends. But I have to sever all ties. For now. Only then I can really be free and move on.
A rumbling sound makes me jump. The door between this compartment and the next has just slid open and a chubby conductor in a too-tight uniform comes inside. Beads of sweat are on his forehead and his chest heaves like a steam locomotive.
With a rocking motion, he walks down the aisle and quickly establishes that I'm the only one present. He nods at me and takes my smart card to check it. Then his eyes widen as he takes a step backwards. Even if it is only a very small step, he might as well have jumped all across the train car. A bit embarrassed, I grab the bill of my cap and pull it even further down to hide my eyes.
‘Well, young lady,’ he says, as he hands me back my smart card. ‘That's one big black eye.’

To be continued in #2 The Music Sessions - Zi-Zi's Journey. This episode will be published next weekend on this website. Special thanks to Lindsey Stirling for inspiration and Jen Minkman for editing the English translation.

More to read:
The Music Sessions

The Music Sessions

Written by Marijke F. Jansen

I'm not the first author saying that music inspires me - that whenever I listen to good music and close my eyes, I see all the battles, romances, scenes, playing out like a movie before my eyes... Last weekend at the Himalaya Film Festival at XL de Ateliers in Dronten, I wrote after watching a documentary as my inspiration for the first time. And this week, I suddenly got the idea to use music instead of a documentary and to see what would come out.

Lindsey Stirling
An artist that I've discovered recently and whom I find incredibly inspiring is Lindsey Stirling. Her magic isn't just in her music - she herself is part of the spell. The first time I saw her playing her violin was in the clip of Pentatonix's interpretation of Radioactive. Lindsey was playing so animatedly that it intrigued me and drew me in. And while watching her solo movies, I felt this buzz in my body, causing a spontaneous smile to grow on my face. That's when I knew I just had to have that CD. It's the first CD that I purchased through iTunes and I am still very happy with it.

Music stories
In the next few weeks, I plan to use one track of my Lindsey Stirling CD for "The Music Session" every week. If everything goes according to plan, each track on the CD will result in one chapter of a story inspired by Lindey's music, so that eventually a story will emerge consisting of 12 chapters. As the artist herself is English, I'm playing with the idea to translate each chapter into English to make The Music Sessions accessible to a wider audience. To summarize, it is my intention that a weekly Music Session will take place for the next 12 weeks, and that the result of those sessions will be published on this blog, on and (the latter two in Dutch, the original language). When those 12 weeks are over, I'm going to reread the novel as a whole and do a big edit. The final result will be published as a novelette for enthusiastic readers (although I’m not sure if it's easy to do that for the English version as well). So, keep an eye on the site!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Muse, work in progress

Written by Marijke F. Jansen


“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


To become an author has always been my dream. It's one of the first things that come to mind, when people think of me as a child. I was always creating stories and writing them down. And as the years passed by, my dream didn't fade.

At the end of the year 2011, I realised that I hadn't written for some time. I made myself a promise that 2012 would be my writing year. And it was! In January, I discovered a writing contest organised by and I started to work on the novella Muze, which was written in Dutch. My novella won second place and was published with two other novellas  (by two other authors) in Dark Romance - Verboden Verlangen.

I started to dream about an English version of the story, because once translated into English, more people would be able to read the story. In January 2014 I believed that it was time to work on this translation. At the moment, I have translated the prologue and first chapter. Still eight more chapters to go!

Monday, February 3, 2014


Written by Marijke F. Jansen

Every day, new worlds are created. They come into existence in the minds of thousands of authors all around the world. Before such a new world is born, it consists only of a single idea. By daydreaming about this idea, the author adds oceans, continents and people to this world. Their dreams can be like heaven, but they also create nightmares. Worlds that will give us a message. Of things we are doing wrong today. And after dreaming of this world, the author picks up his/her pencil (or starts up his/her laptop) and writes this story and the world it is situated in down in books. So that you, dear reader, can pick it up, open it and gain access to this world. Books are doors to dreams.

Doors 2 Dreams is a blog by three Dutch authors. Jen Minkman. Olga Hoekstra. Marijke F. Jansen. We all created new worlds. We still do. On these pages, you will find keys to doors - doors to dreams.